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This is my reply to Karin Meyers, “False Friends: Dependent Origination and the Perils of Analogy in Cross-Cultural Philosophy,” in this Symposium. Meyers generally focuses on exegesis of what Early Buddhists said, which reasonably constrains what we may think about them if we are Buddhists. I agree with and find much value in most of her astute analyses, here and elsewhere, so I restrict my reply here to where we disagree, or otherwise seem to be speaking past, or misunderstanding, each other. In this regard, I focus on three of her claims. Meyers argues that (1) Buddhist dependent origination is not determinism; (2) attempts at naturalizing Buddhism threaten to run afoul of her hermeneutics; and (3) I seem to err on both fronts. However, I have emphasized that I am not a determinist, and I am not as concerned with what Buddhists did say about causation and agency. As a philosopher, I am mainly concerned with what philosophers can say about them. Thus, Meyers’s criticisms of my work seem predicated on interpretations of ideas I do not exactly espouse. Thus, the “Repetti” that Meyers primarily critiqued, as the title to this Reply (hopefully humorously) makes clear, wasn’t me! Whether I have failed to make my ideas clear, she has failed to accurately interpret them, or some combination of both, I am uncertain. Thus, I focus on trying to clarify those ideas of mine that Meyers seems to interpret in a way that I do not.


Originally published in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics.

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